Saturday, January 15, 2005

Military Puts Bigotry Ahead of Terror War

According to a recent news item, the military discharged at least 26 Middle East linguists between 1998 and 2004 for being homosexual. The AP writeup quotes Department of Defense data that show 20 Arabic specialists and six Farsi specialists were dismissed . In the same period, 16 Korean linguists were purged thanks to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." That brings the total number of experts forbidden from helping America defeat the "Axis of Evil" to 42.

The UPI story provides this devastating context:

At a time when the Pentagon and federal government are scrambling for foreign language specialists — particularly those with skills in Arabic and Farsi — they have forced at least 73 and as many as 86 linguists to leave the military in that five year period, according to Pentagon data.

The 9/11 Commission's report last year noted the shortage of Arab linguists in the federal government caused a back up of intercepted messages to go without translation. The Government Accountability Office in 2002 similarly highlighted the problem as did the House Intelligence Committee in October 2001, one month after Arabic-speaking jihadis hijacked four planes and crashed them in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania (emphasis added).

Instead of talking seriously the threat posed by Islamo-fascist terrorists, the military's official policy is to focus on what is apparently a much more pressing concern:
The presence in the Armed Forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.
What will it take to get the bigots in the Pentagon to realize that there is no way to promote enlightenment abroad when we're incapable of practicing it at home?
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